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Task Manager for Mac

Task Manager for Mac

When applications freeze in windows the very first thing you probably use is the Task Manager to stop the program or force quit the misbehaving applications, or you may also want to check the memory usage. This can be done by simply pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete then a Task Manager dialog box will appear. Does this powerful combo work on Mac too?


Mac might have a different function but it still has a Task Manager Option or the Activity Monitor that closes a stubborn program by pressing Command + Option + Esc. It will now give you an option to force quit the program that doesn’t quit normally. 


But force quitting may cause you to lose your data. So make sure if you are working on an open file to save as frequently as you do your changes.

Mac Activity Monitor

The equivalent of the Windows task Manager for Mac is Activity Monitor. Like the Task Manager, it shows how much memory usage your Mac processes and it’s disk activity.

There are ways how you can open the Activity Monitor

From Dock

  • To easily locate the Activity Monitor you may pin it in your Dock. Just right-click the app icon and click Options – Keep in Dock. You may also view the parameters right from the Dock by clicking View – Dock Icon and select Show CPU usage or History.

From Spotlight

  • Press and hold Command and press space to open the spotlight, type Activity Monitor or click on the magnifying glass in the upper-right corner of the menu bar and the window comes up highlighted then press Enter.


From Finder

  • Click on Finder in your Dock, click on applications on the sidebar, then choose utilities, and double click on the Activity Monitor icon.

How to End Frozen Applications?

Once you’ve opened the Activity Monitor you may now navigate to CPU or the Memory tab and find what makes it slow to process. Click to highlight. Press the X icon in the top toolbar and confirm if you want to quit the process.

Understanding the 5 Tabs of Activity Monitor

The Mac Activity Monitor has 5 several sections which are CPU, Memory, Energy, Disk, and Network, and in the later versions Cache. 

Let get into that section to understand it’s functions

CPU Pane

– The “CPU” pane shows how your Mac’s processors are working and affecting the CPU performance and can help you identify which apps are giving the hard time to the processor. Why your laptop battery depletes quickly, or the temperature and fan activity.

Memory Tab

– The Memory Tab of the Mac Activity Monitor tells you how much RAM is consumed by your apps. A good indicator that it’s time to restart your computer is to check the bottom section where you see Swap Used. These are virtual memory files that are written to your Mac’s disk. If you see the swap space used a huge amount then your Mac will run slowly. 


Energy Tab

The Energy Tab provides information about how much energy and which apps and processes use the most power. You can check through the Energy Impact column the current power usage. It is updated regularly and you’ll know the values it measured. This is where you check to see what makes your laptop battery life depleting. If you are using a desktop Mac It has no greater impact. You should also check the 12 hr power column that shows which apps are using the most power and energy even when your computer was Asleep or Inactive.


Disk Tab

How does the disk Tab affect the overall performance of your Mac? The Disk Pane shows how much data has been read from your Mac’s drive or written to your disk. Cloud handles reading and writing data so if the cloud is showing lots of activity you might download a lot of files such as photos, movies, and more. The information about the total disk activity for all processes can be found at the bottom of the Disk Tab.

Network Pane

Activity Monitor is a useful tool on a Mac that can absolutely help you troubleshoot problems and keep your computer running smoothly. This tab shows how much data your Mac is sending and receiving over your local network interfaces for active apps and processes. . There can be lots of reasons why you experience slow internet connection but one cause is that you might have a lot of data coming or sending your Mac. The Network pane shows all your network activity, not just to and from the Internet.  The information about the total network activity can be found at the bottom of the Disk which may be helpful to identify what causes the network problem.



Cache pane

In the latest version of macOS like High Sierra 10.13.4 or later, the Activity Monitor has added a new pane which is called Cache. This is where the information of how much-cached content stored on your hard drive has been uploaded, downloaded, or dropped over time and can be used to speed up the process.


You must know the basic function of the Activity Monitor as it helps you speed up the performance of your Mac Device. It also helps you see and identify which apps or processes are using the most processor cycles. In this way, it won’t take too much of your time to identify what seems to be the cause of the problem.

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